Greetings from Lockett Nation! It's been a while, a long while, but I wanted to take a moment and record proof of life and proof of Hugo. That's right, our baby is turning one tomorrow and hasn't graced this blog with his sunshine presence yet. He's a gift, just like his big brother and sister. He fits right in with our crazy crew and we couldn't love him more but somehow we do every day, again, just like his brother and sister.
For the first time in thirteen years, I didn't send out Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards, and it kills me a little that it didn't happen, but I thought a little update via the blog might suffice for now. I have high-apple-pie-in-the-sky-hopes of sending out Valentines this year, so email me your address if you want one (email@example.com). And to all of you who sent Christmas cards, bless you and thank you and know you made me cry and miss you and please everyone come see us!
My hope is that one day when I'm gone (taking up residence in Julia Child's kitchen in the sky) our little Locketts can read this blog and know they were loved like crazy and remember some of the happy moments we spent together.
So, here we go, 2016 in review:
After a summer spent at church camp, grandparent camp, Disney World (her second Disney experience, but first on U.S. soil), and swimming the backyard, Ava landed a dreamy 4th grade teacher who loves musicals as much as she does! Ava adores school and was elected as her Class Student Council Representative and then, after a very brave speech to the whole school, voted Vice President of the Student Council. Soon after, a friend at school was choking and she performed the Heimlich and saved him! You can read her account of the event here. She decided to try her hand at deer hunting, and Pops taught her how to use a crossbow. She shot a little buck and we've been featuring her venison in many of our favorite dishes. She joined me on a work trip to NYC and saw Fiddler on the Roof with Josh and took a cupcake tour of the city. Ava loves New York! She participated in an Acting for Camera class during the fall semester and also resumed piano lessons. She joined the Jefferson Jazzers, a choir for 4th and 5th graders at her elementary school. She's looking forward to Girls on the Run beginning later this spring, where she'll train for a 5K with other girls at her school. She loved GOTR last school year! Ava is an avid reader and Lego aficionado. She loves to ride her bike, scooter, and play with the other 15 neighborhood kiddos in our cul de sac crew. She helps us take care of her little brothers, is an excellent sous chef, and can sing every word to the Hamilton soundtrack. Watching her transform from our little Bava to an almost 10-year-old has been a joy!
Boy, oh boy, where do we even start with our sweet Levy Bear? After a year at Sparkle Kids, a small in-home childcare center, Levin mastered going potty and turned three which are the two requisites for attending the magical wonderland known as Gingerbread! He's been on the list for Gingerbread since 13 weeks in utero, and the wait was finally over. He loves his school, his teachers, his friends, and the amazing backyard playground. He spends three days a week at a place that is 100% focused on play. Levin went to Disney World and was equal parts an unholy terror and the most fun kid at the park. He loved Small World more than life itself and hated the fireworks so much that we just camped out in Ariel's grotto until they ended each night. Levin has lots to say and his own voice in which to say it. He is speedy fast on his scooter and is learning to ride his new bike from Santa. Levin likes to refer to himself as Ava's big brother, and has stepped into the role of
Hugo's Hudo's big brother with ease. He loves his siblings with the same fervor he does all things and sometimes it's too rough and too much at once, but it's always sincerely Lev. Lev loves music, and catches onto songs at lightning-speed. One of his favorite songs is the Chelsea pub song, Blue is the Colour - sung best at top of lungs whilst naked in the shower. Levin played soccer for the first time this fall! He was coached by the same person who has instilled a love of the game since birth. Josh and Lev enjoyed the beautiful game and look forward to many more seasons together. He loves routine, and is looking forward to his fourth birthday when his bedtime will include FOUR books, FOUR stories starring him and made up by the parent on bedtime duty that night, and FOUR songs. Lev still loves his Big Tag Tag (blanket), and it helps him sleep at night and feel better if he's hurt or sad. BTT doesn't travel to school and always works best fresh out of the dryer. He shares his mama's chocolate and peanut butter addictions, and helps in the kitchen with a focus and dedication that exceeds developmental expectations. He's our resident puzzle expert and dimpled charmer. A tempest at three, we expect a full-blown fournado come March!
When we named Hugo (after Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables), Abner (after the founder of our little hometown, Abner Norman), we knew his names combined to mean "bright light." It's such a perfect representation of our little sunshine. He's happy and silly and brings joy to every situation. He was born on January 5th at 11:43 a.m. He weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces and measured 20 inches long. Hugo adores his siblings, and waves his little arms vigorously when he sees them. He is a climber and super sturdy, thankfully because Lev routinely tests his durability - much to Ava's horror at the treatment of her baby. Hugo did Disney from inside the Moby Wrap and he was a superstar. He routinely eats more than Levin and with much more enthusiasm. Hugo loves our dogs. He barks at them and says and signs dog. Murray isn't thrilled to be patted by Hugo, but Martin loves to lick him right in the face. Hugo spends his days at home with a nanny who loves him, and is joined by Levin on days when he isn't at Gingerbread (and yes, Hugo is already on the Gingerbread list). Hugo was my travel buddy this fall. Thanks to gracious friends and family, he traveled to NYC, Boston, and on a road trip all over Texas. He was an absolute champ! Like his siblings at his age, Hugo is still bunking in with Josh and me so he can fully enjoy the milk bar while it lasts. Our plan is to put up Josh's old bunk beds for the boys in Lev's room when Hugo is ready for his own bed. (We're using our fourth bedroom as a playroom, and it's a model that works great for our family right now.) Hugo has added another level of sugar baby love to our lives. Ava and Levin have both added layers of patience, capacity for sharing (both parents and toys), and flexibility since adding Hugo to the mix. We're seeing bursts of his toddler personality and look forward to watching his sunshine continue to blaze!
The boring old parents
Josh and I just celebrated 12 years of marriage! It's been just as hard and wonderful as everyone told us it would be - and twice as fun. He's still working as an Assistant Attorney General in Criminal Appeals, and I'm still hornswoggling unsuspecting brilliants to my law school lair. We're thankful for professions that allow us to be challenged and happy and provide for our little ones. We love to menu plan and cook together, listen to podcasts (history and soccer for him, Gilmore Girls and murder mystery for me), share our Audible account and book recommendations, watch Frasier and most anything on PBS, and to sit in the floor with our babies. Raising them is the greatest adventure and we're thankful everyday for the gifts they are to us!